The winning steak was a Sirloin Grain-fed Limousin Cross aged 29 months and matured for 14 days, produced by F&M Frąckowiak in woj. Wielkopolskie, Poland, and submitted by ABP Poland.
Eoin Ryan of ABP, was ecstatic about ABP Poland winning the title of World’s Best Steak. “This is fantastic for ABP Poland and ABP as a group. It’s a further endorsement of the hard work being done in the group and in Poland, and this award will certainly help put Poland on the map in terms of beef production.”
Now in its third year, the World Steak Challenge 2017 was held at The Magic Roundabout in Old Street, London on 4 July.
For 2017, the competition was expanded to include Rib-Eye and Fillet as well as the original Sirloin category.
The Best Rib-Eye was won by F&M Frąckowiak/ABP Poland and the Best Fillet was won by Jack’s Creek of New South Wales, entered by Albers GmbH of Germany. The Best Grain-fed winner was F&M Frąckowiak/ABP Poland and the Best Grass-fed winner was Martin’s Meats with a Rib-Eye Grass-fed produced by Hill View Farm, Cheltenham, Glos England.
Chair of judges Marco Peerdeman said: “It was a very tidy entry with great marbling with a lovely trim. The taste was great, it was rich but a bit different – it looks a bit like a wagyu but once you taste it, you realise it’s not.
“Both ABP Poland entries were fantastic. They won a gold medal last year, so to go one better is a great achievement for them.”
Peerdeman said the extra categories meant the judges had to work harder. “It’s interesting for us with the different categories, as different cuts will have different qualities so we need to take that into account.”
He also explained what makes a top-quality steak. “We’re looking at a variety of different factors when judging the entries,” said Peerdeman. “We get raw and cooked steaks for each entry and we judge them on a variety of factors including marbling, trim, aroma, succulence and taste. The panel is made up of butchers and chefs from around the world so we’re looking at it from that point of view, but we also have to look at it from a consumer point of view.”
Mike Reid, of M Restaurants, said the addition of Rib-Eye and Fillet categories to the competition spiced it up: “It adds a bit of variety to the event and creates a new challenge for entries.”
This year’s competition saw 17 countries and 25 breeds represented with more than 120 entries involved across the categories.
There were 17 Gold Medal winners, 19 Silver Medal winners and 33 Bronze Medal winners.
Rod Addy, editor of GlobalMeatNews, said: “The sheer range and quality of entries this year is a testament to the hard work put in by producers across the globe. This year’s Challenge has attracted a record number of entries, reflecting the pride producers take in steak production and the importance of winning this accolade to propel their business and their brand.”
Rich Summers, butchery and charcuterie specialist, said the competition offered up some amazing entries. “It has been an embarrassment of top-quality steaks served up to us. The steaks that really stood out to me had the right cut and flavour.”
GOLD MEDAL WINNERS
- ABP Poland: Rib-Eye, Grain, Poland
- Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat: Fillet, Grain, USA
- ABP Poland: Sirloin, Grain, Poland
- Vacum Carnes de Lujo: Fillet, Grass, Spain
- Albers GmbH/Jack’s Creek: Fillet, Grain, Australia
- Dawn Meats: Sirloin, Grass, England
- Martin’s Meats: Rib-Eye, Grass, England
- Hannan Meats: Fillet, Grass, Northern Ireland
- JBS Global (JBS Brazil): Sirloin, Grain, Brazil
- Hannan Meats: Rib-Eye, Grass, Northern Ireland
- Morrisons Supermarkets: Fillet, Grain, Scotland
- Kepak Group: Sirloin, Grain, Ireland
- JN Meat International: Rib-Eye, Grass, Finland
- Vacum Carnes de Lujo: Rib-Eye, Grass, Spain
- Albers GmbH/Jack’s Creek: Sirloin, Grain, Australia
- Kepak Group: Rib-Eye, Grass, Ireland
- Albers GmbH/Michael Hanigan: Rib-Eye, Grain, Ireland